TCB in RMB: Wanda Reports Half-Year Income Jump

Welcome to China Film Insider‘s weekly roundup of China M&A and financial news.

Dalian Wanda Group reported increase in income

Dalian Wanda Group, China’s property, and entertainment giant reported overall revenue of RMB 134.9 billion (US$19.8 billion) for the first six months of 2017, an increase of 12.4 percent year-on-year.

Wanda Group chairman, billionaire Wang Jianlin, filed a brief earnings report to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, saying Wanda Film grossed RMB 6.65 billion ($977.9 million) from January to June, up 16 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. Wanda is the world’s largest cinema chain, operating 455 cinemas with 4,000 screens.

The revenue of Wanda Cultural Group (focusing on entertainment and tourism) that includes Wanda Film hiked 45.1% to RMB 30.8 billion ($4.5 billion) in the first half of 2017.

Meanwhile, Wanda Group still largely relies on its property business for its income, as Wanda’s real estate operating revenue accounted for a major 42.1 percent of its total for the first half of this year, reaching RMB 56.8 billion ($8.4 billion).

Wanda’s Wang is famous for his high-profile overseas acquisitions, including the acquisition of AMC Theatres and a majority stake in Legendary Entertainment. One day after Wanda Film’s earnings filing, it requested a trading halt due to “plans for acquisitions of film-related assets.”

LeEco founder Jia Yueting quits as chair of Leshi Internet

Jia Yueting, the founder of cash-strapped internet and entertainment conglomerate LeEco, resigned as the chairman of its Shenzhen-listed arm Leshi Internet and Information Technology last Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday morning, Jia wrote an open letter on his social media account that he would take full responsibility to pay LeEco’s debts. “Please give LeEco some time, please give LeEco’s car business a little more time. We will repay all debts to the financial institutions, suppliers and anyone else we owe,” he wrote. Two months ago, Jia resigned as the CEO of Leshi Internet.

Leshi Internet has RMB 1.98 billion ($290 million) in non-current liabilities due by March 2018.

Earlier last week, after China Merchants Bank filed a complaint about unpaid debts by LeEco subsidiaries, a Shanghai court froze RMB 1.2 billion ($176.4 million) in assets owned by Jia and his wife.

China Media Capital receives $600 million in financing

China Media Capital, the mysterious private equity firm that has taken an undisclosed amount of equity stake in Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in April, announced on Wednesday that it secured a new round of funding of $600 million from various investors.

CMC, founded in 2009 and led by Shanghai-based media tycoon Li Ruigang, is first China’s private equity firm focused in the cultural industry that gained approval from China’s National Development and Reform Commission. CMC mainly invests in entertainment, media and internet firms. It runs two funds in dollars and another two in RMB, totaling RMB 30 billion ($4.4 billion) as of February, 2016.

“We believe that with CMC’s experience and resources in the cultural industry and the unique observation of the industry, we’ll continue to seek for great investment opportunities and create substantial returns for investors,” Li said in a company statement.

Chinese actress Zhao Wei and her husband donated to disaster areas in China

Chinese actress Zhao Wei and her husband Huang Youlong donated HKD 1 million ($128,000) to Chinese provinces hit by heavy rainfall, mudslides, and hail, which killed 56 people and caused $4 billion of economic losses as of Tuesday

Huang, from Hunan province, has a significant business relationship with Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma. Huang has poured HKD 3.1 billion into Alibaba Pictures and became the second largest stakeholder of the Hong Kong-listed film arm of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba. Huang married Zhao in 2009.